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Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?

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DIRTY OLD TOWN


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GUEST,Hanky Park Girl. 03 Apr 11 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,hanky park girl 02 Apr 11 - 09:46 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Apr 11 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,hanky park girl. 02 Apr 11 - 09:27 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 11 - 01:15 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Jan 11 - 01:12 PM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 11 - 09:55 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jan 11 - 09:44 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Jan 11 - 12:40 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM
GUEST 20 Jan 11 - 11:17 AM
The Sandman 20 Jan 11 - 10:41 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Jan 11 - 10:38 AM
The Sandman 20 Jan 11 - 06:48 AM
johnadams 20 Jan 11 - 06:46 AM
GUEST 20 Jan 11 - 06:44 AM
Rob Naylor 20 Jan 11 - 06:27 AM
Dave Sutherland 20 Jan 11 - 05:53 AM
Mick Woods 20 Jan 11 - 05:23 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 11 - 05:18 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Jan 11 - 05:10 AM
Dave Earl 20 Jan 11 - 03:44 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 11 - 03:03 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Jan 11 - 10:46 AM
Matthew Edwards 19 Jan 11 - 10:00 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Jan 11 - 09:00 AM
Matthew Edwards 19 Jan 11 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Desi C 19 Jan 11 - 08:16 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Jan 11 - 06:54 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 11 - 06:36 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Jan 11 - 06:01 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 11 - 05:38 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Jan 11 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 19 Jan 11 - 04:30 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Jan 11 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,Aeola 18 Jan 11 - 03:07 PM
Les in Chorlton 18 Jan 11 - 11:42 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 11 - 11:04 AM
Musket 09 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM
GUEST 09 Dec 08 - 03:36 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Dec 08 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Jypsy Rosy Lea 08 Dec 08 - 05:47 PM
GUEST 12 May 08 - 01:56 PM
Dave the Gnome 12 May 08 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Ewans Da 12 May 08 - 11:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 May 08 - 03:25 AM
Paul Burke 12 May 08 - 03:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 08 - 06:49 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 08 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 09 May 08 - 07:31 PM
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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,Hanky Park Girl.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:38 AM

I wish Artist's when recording this wonderful song would get the lyric's right, smelled the Spring on the SALFORD wind. Thank you Mr Rodney Stewart, you never let us down.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,hanky park girl
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:46 PM

the crescent used to be my local, good ale house, the oxford, well, good bar staff, our jean,the best, timmy and paulette, landlord and lady, tops. the maggies chair don't know, you would have to go in and find out , they love the history of the place. dirty old town, were're all there, go in on a good sunday afternoon and you will have a good afternoon. when i read back to 04 you sound like you know my lovely City of Salford, are you local. I was raised on Ellor Street, can't believe what Tesco have done to the old St,James site, let me know your view's. an old hanky parker.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 10:48 AM

Hey - What's going on at the New Oxford, Hanky Park Girl? Last time I was in there. many years ago and if it is the same place I am thinking off, they had the old judges chair from Salford Magistrates court and used to charge people to sit in it - All for charity. Plus an excelent selection of board games behind the bar! I tend to go to the Crescent or Kings Arms nowadays but if there is a trick I am missing - Let us all know!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,hanky park girl.
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:27 AM

SALFORD, of course. get down the new oxford on a sunday afternoon, hear it sung by true salfordian's. were a dying breed.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 01:15 PM

Good one Jim.
Ho ho.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 01:12 PM

Shouldn't you be looking for tall buildings to leap over Keith?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 09:55 AM

Jokes do tend to go straight over Jim's head.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 09:44 AM

"Are you sure that you are referring to the correct Harker?"
Whoops - a knee-jerk reaction on my part to an old béte noire.
Apologies to all, especially Ben Harker.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 12:40 PM

In fact it was over 4 years ago:

Ewan's chords

I have to say I was, and remain, flattered by the quality of the reponses

Cheers
L in C#


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM

That's very kind GSS. I started a thread some years ago concerning the bourgeois nature of a particularly fine pair of chord trousers that Ewan was wearing at a festival in Liverpool around 1970. It ran a bit and I smirked a bit also

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 11:17 AM

It's the Joke Police. Their terrible round here.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 10:41 AM

as a joke, it is quite funny certainly laughable.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 10:38 AM

I feel I have to try and make this clear:

When I suggested he might be a spy it was for want of a better word a JOKE. Ok not so funny. Sorry, these things have a habit of getting out of control here-abouts

Cheers

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 06:48 AM

on the subject of establishment spies, according to the 30 years ruleas reported in the guardian, both Joe Gormley and Ray Buckton reported back to MI5 ON Union meetings.
Ithink it highly unlikely that Ewan was a spy, I also think Kirstie MacColls death was highly suspicious.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: johnadams
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 06:46 AM

Dr Ben Harker with Emily Weygang is the February guest at the Ryburn 3 Step folk club.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 06:44 AM

Well as I remember he told me it was Glasgow or Grimsby ..Summat wi a Grr in it anyway,
LOL


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 06:27 AM

Mind you if those two acts hadn't covered it, then it would probably have remained unknown outside of the small folk community in england.

Not sure I agree with that...it was certainly in the songbook we used at school in music lessons. Can't remember the name of the book but it had a lot of British and American "standards" in it and was very widely used in schools at the time (late 1960s). Everyone who passed through my secondary school between 1965 and 1975 would have sung it!


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 05:53 AM

Jim,
Are you sure that you are referring to the correct Harker?
Ben wrote "Class Act" while it was David responsible for "Fakesong".


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Mick Woods
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 05:23 AM

Most of the people that "assume" it refers to an Irish town heard it first sung by the Dubliners or The Pogues. As the song doesn't name the town, that's a reasonable mistake to make! Mind you if those two acts hadn't covered it, then it would probably have remained unknown outside of the small folk community in england.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 05:18 AM

"Where, as a man who can find many things with both hands, do you place him Jim?"
As somebody prone to throwing the baby out with the bathwater - read his formulistic hatchet-job of collectors in 'Fakesong' - ill researched vindictiveness.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 05:10 AM

Where, as a man who can find many things with both hands, do you place him Jim?

L still in C#


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 03:44 AM

"people there believe it's an Irish song referring to Dublin or Belfast"

I find that strange! There was no Town gas in N.Ireland when I lived there and I believe the same was true of Dublin so how can there have been a gasworks croft.

I do however understand how Salford wind can be misheard as "sulphered"


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 03:03 AM

I'm not sure - I've never seen it, but I believe there is a blue plaque on the house in Beckenham - Ewan's last home. The fact that when it became vacant the maisonette was rented out to four policemen would have amused him enormously.
"Harker places him in Urmston"
Harker couldn't find his own arse with both hands.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 10:46 AM

Tricky hey? Surely left him confused for life if not scarred?

Les


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 10:00 AM

Doh!!! :-)

Sorry - missed the subtlety altogether there, Les!

Anyway, Manor Road, Urmston where MacColl spent the wartime years is still on the map. Not sure what kind of plaque it might attract, though!

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 09:00 AM

Hi Matthew,

just a dig at his going missing in the war .    ............ Harker places him in Urmston

Les


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 08:53 AM

L in C# asked:- "Blue Plaque for somewhere in Urmston anybody?

Nice idea, Les, but where would you put it? Ewan MacColl/Jimmy Miller was born in rented rooms at 4 Andrew Street, Lower Broughton, but shortly after his birth the family moved a few streets away to a terraced house in Coburg Street*. Neither street exists nowadays although you can find them both, on either side of Lower Broughton Road by looking in Old Maps and entering "Lower Broughton" in the search box. Look at the Lancashire and Furness 1908 map at 1:2500 scale just north of where the River Irwell makes a large loop south.

MacColl was born nearly 96 years ago, on 25 January 1915. Anybody want to sing 'Happy Birthday' for him next Tuesday?

*Information from Ben Harker's biography of MacColl Class Act, and here is an interesting commentary on Culture in Salford written by Ben Harker.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 08:16 AM

It is indeed Salford where he grew up, it's a district of Manchester in England. Though on my travels back to Eire, I'm always struck by how many people there believe it's an Irish song referring to Dublin or Belfast, and it's hugely popular there


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 06:54 AM

Sorry! Caught out Jim. Just a bit of harmless (?) trolling.

Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 06:36 AM

Come on Les - If MacColl was an establishment spy he must have been as inept as any dreamed up by the Boulting Brothers or the Carry On team. A spy who left the Communist Party when he could have been of most use to the establishment, an avid supporter of left trades unions who never associated with a leadership who had the utmost respect for him, - likewise CND, the Anti Aparthied movement, the miners, the Anti-Vienam war campaign, even the Co-op... and all the other causes he supported - a leap too far for the most hardened anti-MacCollite, surely?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 06:01 AM

Fairenoughski Jim but the current usage is b*ll*cks as far as my "Usage of the Queen's English" 2009, is concerned.

Best wishes
L in C#


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 05:38 AM

"he was Undercover Agent, secretly moving behind enemy lines"
Bollix
"His ancestry was of course mainly eastern european,"
Likewise
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 05:21 AM

Aeola how do you know Ewans ancestry was Eastern European ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 04:30 AM

"His ancestry was of course mainly eastern european"

I don't come to this knowing anything about his ancestry other than his father was a Scot called Miller and his mother was a Scot called Hendry. neither of which sound eastern european - though admittedly people can change their names etc. What makes you come to the conclusion that his ancestry was 'mainly' eastern european?


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 02:45 AM

"His ancestry was of course mainly eastern european"

Who's?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,Aeola
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 03:07 PM

What a fascinating thread!! James/Ewan!! would be enthralled.His ancestry was of course mainly eastern european, but, I don't think he was really bothered!!


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 11:42 AM

"If Ewan was a deserter, why was he never prosecuted?"

Well this may never have been discussed before, but either he was Undercover Agent, secretly moving behind enemy lines ( my fav.), or in the post war confusion they had better things to do, (unlikely).

Blue Plaque for somewhere in Urmston anybody?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 11:04 AM

If Ewan was a deserter, why was he never prosecuted?

The song was written in reference to Salford, then in Lancashire, now in Greater Manchester, England, and the place where Ewan MacColl was brought up. When he first wrote the song, the local council were unhappy at having Salford called a dirty old town and, after considerable criticism, the words of the song were changed from "smelled a Spring on the Salford wind" to "smelled a spring on the smoky wind"

BTW what canal do we think he is referring too, we have a choice of two, M/cr Ship or Bridgewater canal?


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Musket
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM

I hadn't time to read every single entry in this (sorry) so apologies if this has been mentioned.

I am bemused to see so much debate, but most people have got it right, it is about Salford.

He wrote it for a theatre workshop musical in 1949, which was called "Landscape with Chimneys."    The original score for the musical was;

Smell the spring on the Salford wind

the original copyrighted score confirms this.

There are many threads in this forum about original words and songs adapting, and this song has been mentioned many times. By singing smoky rather than Salford, it gives the song wider appeal and perhaps that is a good thing.

However, Salford chaps. No buts, just Salford.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 03:36 AM

Salford


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 06:39 PM

Not much mention of the Norman influence on Scotland yet. Practically all the nobles in Scotland were eventually of Norman stock and as the nobles had the main bonking rights I should think most of the lowland Scots are of Norman extraction!

I'll get me coat.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,Jypsy Rosy Lea
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:47 PM

"All I knew before was that you shouldn't put all your Basques in one exit."


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 08 - 01:56 PM

freedom come all ye is about the speech by Harold McMillan had made in Westminster after visting South Africa, and it is an answer to his winds of changes speech which has nothing to with Scotland except it's written in Scots.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 May 08 - 01:47 PM

Ooooh - Thanks Ewans Da. Funnily enough we were discussing the Basques at work today and someone else told me that they were not Celtic - Although they do apparantly have their own bagpipes. Something of an enigma apparantly. All I knew before was that you shouldn't put all your Basques in one exit...

I'll get my coat.

:D


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,Ewans Da
Date: 12 May 08 - 11:57 AM

There is genetic research which connects the 'Basques' and the indigenious Briton's/Welsh/Scots and Irish. But the connection is still being debated.

It would seem the debated connection has reached one conclusion. That conclusion is, the native Britons and the Basques are the original settlers or aboriginal inhabitants of Europe.

Britain and the Islands are not Celtic or Franco-Germanic (Anglo-Saxon), but Indigenous British/Scots/Welsh/Irish who adopted absorbed immigrant culture.

:0o


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 May 08 - 03:25 AM

:D That De La Salle upbringing again, eh Paul? Joys of Middle class-dom. Still -must have done you good coz you know more about picts that me:-)

Aye - Being 'bridged indeed. Again, we didn't get down as far as Trafford bridge because we turned off Broad Street to go down Cross Lane and then off Cross Lane to do Regent Road. Funny thing is I am currently working a stones throw from Trafford Bridge! They have built another bridge at the side of it which I am sure is a fixed structure so I don't thing Trafford Bridge will ever turn again.

I don't remember this either but my friend Dave E. reckons his grandad used to make money putting ashes and cinders down on the frozen cobbles near the cattle market so the horses wouldn't slip.

And who'd think we'd all be here today drinking Chateau de Chatelet...

:D


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 12 May 08 - 03:10 AM

Could have been Manner's- it's a long time ago, but they definitely had a Broad Street branch. And we were far too Middle Class to use clothing czechs, which was why MY school uniform (middle of family) was always hanging in rags. Jimmy could have clinched it for the uninitiated by mentioning getting bridged on Trafford Road.


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 08 - 06:49 PM

They had that sort of rig in Master's which was however on Broad Street

Just found out, courtesy of Mum P, that the shop on Regent Road with the same 'rig' was Landes. So, Landes and BHS were the two stores I can remember. The Masters I remember was actualy off Oxford Road - Facing where the Ritz is in Manchester and under a railway arch. They had a pneumatic tube system for their 'cheques'. There could have been a Masters on Broad Street but we don't remember it. There was, however, a Manners on Chapel Street with overhead cables and all - Remembered by Step-dad Frank. We never got as far as Chapel Street because we always turned down Cross Lane before we got there!

Did you used to get the same 'clothing company cheques' as us Paul? Another one of the dirty old town losses I'm glad to say - The 'tick' man!

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 08 - 07:20 AM

Aye - I mentioned Eccles. Famous for it's cakes, church and wakes. Also now part of Salford. Well, the town is, not the famous goon character...

:D


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Subject: RE: Which Town is MacColl's Dirty Old Town?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 09 May 08 - 07:31 PM

My understanding is that the Northern Picts spoke a non-Indo-European language, and the southern Picts spoke a P-Celtic language closely related to Gallic. Anyway, I don't usually fill in the race bits of questionnaires as they don't have a box for Picto-Norse.

Did someone mention the Famous Eccles earlier? Wouldn't be out of place.


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